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Knowing your Rights and Understanding Common Issues

The first e-mail blast of every month will present one topic from the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that affects every FIU faculty member. The creation of this series is the result of a suggestion at our UFF Spring Chapter meeting. It is part of our ongoing effort to inform all faculty not only of their rights under the CBA, but to inform all faculty of the value of being a UFF member. Our CBA is the outcome of years of dedicated UFF Bargaining teams who see value in protecting our rights. Lastly, this is a legally binding agreement and must be adhered to by all parties.

Types of Leave

These are the types of leaves available to FIU faculty.

  • Holidays
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Entitlements
  • Parental Leave
  • Leaves Due to Illness/Injury
  • Annual Leave
  • Administrative Leaves
  • Bereavement Leave
  • Leave Without Pay

This week we explore Sick Leave.

In future weeks we will explore other specific types of leaves.

[last updated: June 18 2016]

Administrative Leaves

UFF-BOT
POLICY LEAVES

Purpose: To establish policy and procedures concerning employee leaves.

Policy:

  1. 10. Administrative Leaves.
    1. (A) Jury Duty and Court Appearances
    2. (B) Military Leave
      1. 1. Short-term Military Training
      2. 2. National Guard State Service
      3. 3. Other Military Leave.
    3. (C) Leave Pending Investigation
    4. (D) Other Leaves Provided Not Affecting Accrued Leave Balances
      1. 1. Florida Disaster Volunteer Leave
      2. 2. Civil disorder or disaster leave
      3. 3. Athletic competition leave
      4. 4. Leave for re-examination or treatment
    5. (E) Official Emergency Closings

  1. (A) Jury Duty and Court Appearances
    1. 1. An employee who is summoned as a member of a jury panel or subpoenaed as a witness in a matter not involving the employee's personal interests, shall be granted leave with pay and any jury or witness fees shall be retained by the employee; leave granted hereunder shall not affect an employee's annual or sick leave balance.
    2. 2. An appearance as an expert witness for which an employee receives professional compensation falls under the BOT-UFF Policy on Conflict of Interest and Outside Activity and the University's policies and rules relative to outside employment/conflict of interest. Such an appearance may necessitate the employee requesting annual leave or, if a non-annual leave accruing employee, may necessitate the employee seeking an adjustment of the work schedule.
    3. 3. If an employee is required, as a direct result of the employee's employment, to appear as an official witness to testify in the course of any action such duty shall be considered a part of the employee's job assignment, and the employee shall be paid per diem and travel expenses and shall turn over to the University any fees received.
    4. 4. An employee involved in personal litigation during work hours must request annual leave or, if a non-annual leave accruing employee, must seek an adjustment to the work schedule.
  2. (B) Military Leave.
    1. 1. Short-term Military Training. An employee who is a member of the United States Armed Forces Reserve, including the National Guard, upon presentation of a copy of the employee's official orders or appropriate military certification, shall be granted leave with pay during periods in which the employee is engaged in annual field training or other active or inactive duty for training exercises. Such leave with pay shall not exceed seventeen (17) work days in any one (1) federal fiscal year (October 1 - September 30).
    2. 2. National Guard State Service. An employee who is a member of the Florida National Guard shall be granted leave with pay on all days when ordered to active service by the State. Such leave with pay shall not exceed thirty (30) days at any one time.
    3. 3. Other Military Leave.
      1. (a) An employee, except an employee who is employed in a temporary position or employed on a temporary basis, who is drafted, who volunteers for active military service, or who is ordered to active duty (not active duty training) shall be granted leave in accordance with Chapter 43 of Title 38, United States Code. Active military service includes active duty with any branch of the United States Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, National Guard of the State of Florida, or other service as provided in Sections 115.08 and 115.09, Florida Statutes.
      2. (b) Such leave of absence shall be verified by official orders or appropriate military certification. The first thirty (30) days of such leave shall be with full-pay and shall not affect an employee's annual or sick leave balance. The remainder of military leave shall be without pay unless the employee elects to use accumulated annual leave or appropriate leave as provided in (4) below, or the employer exercises its option under Section 115.14, Florida Statutes, to supplement the employee's military pay. Leave payment for the first thirty (30) days shall be made only upon receipt of evidence from appropriate military authority that thirty (30) days of military service have been completed.
      3. (c) Applicable provisions of Federal and State law shall govern the granting of military leave and the employee's reemployment rights.
      4. (d) Use of accrued leave is authorized during a military leave without pay in accordance with Section 12 of this Policy. (C) Leave Pending Investigation. When the President or designee has reason to believe that the employee's presence on the job will adversely affect the operation of the University, the President or designee may immediately place the employee on leave pending investigation of the event(s) leading to that belief. The leave pending investigation shall commence immediately upon the President or designee providing the employee with a written notice of the reasons therefore. The leave shall be with pay, with no reduction of accrued leave.
  3. (D) Other Leaves Provided Not Affecting Accrued Leave Balances. An employee may be granted other leaves not affecting accrued leave balances which are provided as follows:
    1. 1. Florida Disaster Volunteer Leave is provided for an employee who is a certified disaster service volunteer of the American Red Cross. Leave of absence with pay for not more than fifteen (15) working days in the fiscal year may be provided upon request of the American Red Cross and the employee's supervisor's approval. Leave granted under this act shall be only for services related to a disaster occurring within the boundaries of the State of Florida.
    2. 2. Civil disorder or disaster leave is provided for an employee who is member of a volunteer fire department, police auxiliary or reserve, civil defense unit, or other law enforcement type organization to perform duties in time of civil disturbances, riots, and natural disasters, including an employee who is a member of the Civil Air Patrol or Coast Guard Auxiliary, and called upon to assist in emergency search and rescue missions. Such paid leave not affecting leave balances may be granted upon approval by the President or designee and shall not exceed two days on any one occasion.
    3. 3. Athletic competition leave is provided for an employee who is a group leader, coach, official, or athlete who is a member of the official delegation of the United States team for athletic competition. Such paid leave not affecting leave balances shall be granted for the purpose of preparing for and engaging in the competition for the period of the official training camp and competition, not to exceed 30 days in a calendar year.
    4. 4. Leave for re-examination or treatment with respect to service connected disability is provided for an employee who has such rating by the United State Department of Veterans Affairs and has been scheduled to be reexamined or treated for the disability. Upon presentation of written confirmation of having been so scheduled, such leave not affecting the employee's leave balances shall be approved and shall not exceed six (6) calendar days in any calendar year.
  4. (E) Official Emergency Closings. The President or President's representative may close the University, or portions of the University, in the event an Executive Order declaring an emergency has been issued. When natural disasters or other sudden and unplanned emergency conditions occur which are not covered by an Executive Order, the President or designee shall determine whether the University, or any portion thereof, is affected by the emergency and is to be closed. Such closings will be only for the period it takes to restore normal working conditions. Leave resulting from such an emergency closing shall not reduce employees' leave balances.

Grievance chair: Lauren Christos

[last updated: June 21 2016]

Review more of your rights on the Contract Page

Legislative Update

March 14, 2016

First of Two Parts – Post Sine Die

2016-2017 Budget

legislature On Friday March 11, the Florida Legislature adjourned Sine Die to end the 2016 Legislative Session. They left after passing an $82.3 billion budget which seemed to shortchange every level of public education. It certainly was a disappointing session after reports of increased revenues which were generally passed back in tax relief. They also passed a combined train of education issues in SB 7029 comprised mostly of K-12 policy but the bill also included statutory authority for performance funding. More specific higher education funding data and performance funding policy will be included in Update 6B later this week. We need a few days to digest what passed in the final hours and SB 7029 has yet to be enrolled, which is the final version of a passed bill.
[Updated 3/14/2016]

Performance Funding

HB 7043 by Rep. Erik Fresen/CSSB 524 by Senator Don Gaetz performance funding Performance funding to state universities in 2015-16 was a total of $400 million with $150 coming from new state funds and $250 million from the base budgets of the institutions. For 2016-17, universities will receive $500 million; with $225 million of that coming from the state and $275 million from universities’ base budgets. Note: Of the $100.9 million of new state general revenue funding in the Education and General (E&G) funds, $100 million is for performance funding. At $500 million, the level of performance funding in the state universities is now just over 25% of all the Education and General (E&G) funding which is the principal source of operating expenses for state universities.

Proposed performance funding for the Florida College System is $60 million with half coming from the state and the rest from the colleges’ base funding. In 2015-16, the total was $40 million. The Community College Program Funds for 2016-17 increased by only $24.8 million with $20 million allocated for performance.

Performance funding will be a prime focus for UFF in the 2017 Session and beyond.

See UFF position on performance funding.
[Updated 3/14/2016]

Guns on Campus

guns on campus HB 4001 by Rep. Greg Steube/SB 68 by Senator Greg Evers The bill died in the Senate Judiciary Committee for the second year in a row. Note: On March 9, 2016, UFF President Jennifer Proffitt was honored with an award from one of our key allies, the Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus, at the Tavern on the Green in New York City. Congratulations, Jennifer!!
[Updated 3/14/2016]

Fee Waiver For Graduate Assistants

HB 1311 by Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasalinda/SB 1230 by Senator Maria Sachs fee waiver After passing their appropriate higher education committees, both bills died in the Education Appropriations committees. We applaud the GA’s for their persistence and support of this legislation. The GA’s will be back!
[Updated 3/14/2016]

University Employees' Health Insurance

health insurance PCB HHSC 16-01 by the House Health and Human Services Committee/SB 1434 by Senator Jeff Brandes The bill died in the Oversight and Accountability Committee. There was no cost increase for state employee health insurance for 2016-17 but we will see this legislation to modify the state plan and change the premium structure again in the 2017 Session.
[Updated 2/29/2016]

Retirement Legislation

pension reform HB 7107 Public Employees Retirement by Representative Caldwell The bill died in the Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee. This bill changed the FRS default choice.

HB 5005 Florida Retirement System Conforming Bill increases the employer contribution in the defined benefit for Regular Class by 0.26%. In the defined investment plan, the employer rate increased by 0.06% to 2.97%.
[Updated 3/14/2016]

Textbook Affordability

textbook affordability HB 7019 by Rep. Elizabeth Porter/SB 984 by Senator John Legg HB 7019 passed the Legislature. Important elements of the bill include:

  • Requiring public postsecondary institutions to publicly notice any proposal to increase tuition or fees at least 28 days prior to consideration by the board of trustees.
  • Requiring the SBE and the BOG to annually identify strategies and initiatives to promote college affordability (including the impact of tuition and fees paid by graduate assistants employed by the university, financial aid policies, and textbook costs) and submit an annual report to the Governor, Senate President, and Speaker of the House of Representatives.
  • Requiring public postsecondary institution to report, by semester, the cost variance among sections and length of time textbooks and other materials are in use for all general education courses. This provision expires July 1, 2018. UFF has concern as this report goes to department chairs.
  • Requiring posting of textbooks and instructional materials at least 45-days before the first day of class, currently 30 days, on the college or university website.
  • Requiring each postsecondary institution to conduct cost benefit analyses that consider the following guiding principles:
    • Purchasing digital textbooks in bulk;
    • Expanding the use of open-access textbooks and instructional materials;
    • Providing rental options for textbooks and instructional materials;
    • Increasing the availability and use of affordable digital textbooks and learning objects;
    • Developing mechanisms to assist in buying, renting, selling, and sharing textbooks and instructional materials;
    • Examining the length of time textbooks and instructional materials remain in use.

See UFF position paper on textboook affordability.
[Updated 3/14/2016]

[last updated: March 18 2016]

Collective Bargaining Update

As we reported earlier, the UFF-FIU and the FIU Administration have concluded negotiations on a three-year contract (2015-2018). We will be scheduling information and ratification meetings in January. Here is a summary of the negotiations:

Please note that the agreement on salaries applies only for the 2015-16 academic year. Salary is considered a “mandatory re-opener,” which means that unless explicitly agreed to otherwise, it must be negotiated every year. The proposed contract also allows for 5 re-openers per side in the period of the contract as well as any other mutually agreed upon re-opener.

Page references are to the proposed Collective Bargaining Agreement posted at www.uff-fiu.org

Rights, Benefits, Protections Strengthened

Salaries (p. 27-31)

1% retention raise to the base effective January 16, 2016 for all employees employed before July 1, 2015.

1% of 2014-2015 base salary payroll for Merit raise to the base, to be decided by departmental merit criteria, with minimum amount to be $750 to each eligible faculty member, effective January 16, 2016.

Parental Leave (p. 81-83)

One-child policy ended; 26 weeks of Parental Leave may be divided over 2 children, as long as no more than 2 semesters total are affected.

Online (p. 56-63)

Status quo, with language rewritten only for clarification and additional protections of faculty. Language retained: “No employee shall be required to teach a course as an online course...”

External Tenure and Promotion Letters (p. 18-19; 76)

Each department/unit shall decide whether the candidates in their discipline will have access to the external reviewers’ letters, after a democratic vote of the eligible tenured and tenure-earning faculty and according to the department/unit procedures for changing T&P policies.

Promotions (p. 75)

All members of the bargaining unit will now have promotion procedures, including Research Associates and Instructional Specialists

Tuition Reimbursement for Non-Tenure Track Faculty (p. 115-116)

Faculty who do not have the terminal degree but are enrolled in a program to earn it will now have tuition reimbursement at FIU rates for up to 6 credits per semester.

Overload Pay (p. 63)

Overload pay must be at least $1,000 per credit.

Tuition Waivers (p. 114)

Spouses may now take courses with tuition waived without having to enroll in a degree-seeking program.

Grievance Time Limits (p. 22-23)

The time limit to file grievances and complaints has been extended from 30 to 45 days.

Domestic Partners (p. 93)

Domestic partners of same or opposite sex are now recognized in the agreement, and employees have Bereavement Leave at the death of a partner.

Policy Changes (p. 50)

Policies may not be changed without collective bargaining.

Job Abandonment (p. 78)

Days when the university is closed may not be counted as days missed in deciding job abandonment.

Dues Deduction and PAC Contributions (p. 32; 40-43)

Minor changes made at UFF request.

Copies of CBA (p. 34)

Copies of the Collective Bargaining Agreement will only be available online (no hard copies), but will be in searchable format.

Rights, Benefits, Protections Weakened or Lost

None.

UFF Proposals Deferred to Future Bargaining

  • Summer pay for tuition-generating activities like thesis and dissertation direction, not currently compensated.
  • Additional benefits for domestic partners.
  • Increase in overload pay minimum.
[last updated: June 18 2016]

The Real Reason College Tuition Costs So Much

tuition overload logo

BOULDER, Colo. - ONCE upon a time in America, baby boomers paid for college with the money they made from their summer jobs. Then, over the course of the next few decades, public funding for higher education was slashed. These radical cuts forced universities to raise tuition year after year, which in turn forced the millennial generation to take on crushing educational debt loads, and everyone lived unhappily ever after.

Read more ...

[last updated: April 20 2015]

Statewide UFF Elections

uff logo

Jennifer Proffitt, FSU, is the new president of the statewide United Faculty of Florida.

Liz Davenport, FAMU, is the newly-elected Vice President.

UFF-FIU members were elected:

  • UFF Delegates to the 2015 and 2016 National Education Association Representative Assembly: Deanne Butchey, Lauren Christos, Bruce Nissen, Moses Shumow
  • FEA Delegates to the 2015 and 2016 NEA Represenative Assembly: Shane Landrum, Kathy Lineberger, Bruce Nissen
  • UFF Delegates to the American Federation of Teachers 2016 National Assembly: Bruce Nissen, Moses ShumowStatewide UFF Elections
[last updated: April 11 2015]

National Adjunct Walkout Day

On February 25, 2015 adjuncts across the country came together to insist on fair wages and better working conditions.

WLRN Coverage of the Activities at FIU

FIU works because we work Adjuncts, instructors, professors and students show support.

About 30 people gathered at FIU's south campus by a large water fountain. Full-time instructors, part-time instructors and even students came out to support adjunct professors.

United Faculty of Florida estimates that adjuncts are teaching between 40 and 50 percent of university classes. They teach on a "per-course" basis, making less than half the salary of permanent professors.

Read more...

Survey: The State of Adjunct Professors

In our new survey, 62 percent of adjuncts say they make less than $20,000 a year from teaching, and 88 percent say working with students is their favorite part.

Read more...

Are Adjunct Professors the New Fast-Food Workers?

For many universities and colleges, both public and private, it's their most embarrassing secret-paying educated professionals minimum wage salaries with no benefits.

Read more...

[last updated: February 26 2016]

How FIU Spends Its Money - 2014

This report analyzes the trends in Florida International University (FIU) expenditures on faculty and faculty salaries compared to expenditures on administration and administrators' salaries for the years 2004 through 2013. Previous reports were produced in 2004, 2007, 2009 and 2011. This report extends the analysis of FIU's expenditures with data available in October 2013, including faculty salaries through the 2013-2014 academic year. This report supports previous findings that FIU is experiencing administrative bloat, expanding the resources of administration at the expense of instruction, research and service.

  • Download the 2014 report in MS Word format.
Due to the original format of the MS Word document, a PDF version of the file has three parts:
  • Download the 2014 report in PDF format (pages 1-13).
  • Download the 2014 report in PDF format (pages 14-15).
  • Download the 2014 report in PDF format (pages 16-23).
[last updated: March 20 2015]

CFHE

Join the campaign for the Future of Higher Education

CFHE logo

The Campaign for the Future of Higher Education is organized around SEVEN CORE PRINCIPLES that must define quality higher education for the 21st century.

The mission of the campaign is to ENSURE THAT AFFORDABLE QUALITY HIGHER EDUCATION is accessible to all sectors of our society in the coming decades. This is a time of great change in higher education.

Visit the CFHE site.

[last updated: April 11 2015]

Contact Us

Chapter President Eric Dwyer
Grievance Chairperson Lauren Christos

UFF-FIU By-Laws | Contact the webmaster at webmaster

[last updated: June 21 2016]